How to add a number row to Google’s new Lollipop keyboard

Numbers and extra keys. Photo: KIllian Bell/Cult of Android

Numbers and extra keys. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Google has greatly improved its default Android keyboard for Lollipop, not only by giving it a Material Design overhaul, but by adding new features as well. One of those is the ability to add a number row and other special keys to the keyboard, but enabling them can be pretty tricky. Here’s what you need to do.

First, you’re going to need the latest Google keyboard, so if you haven’t already, go download it from Google Play. Once it’s installed and set up, you can follow the steps below.

  1. Open up the Settings app and tap “Language & input”
  2. Tap the options button alongside “Lollipop Keyboard”
    Note: If you have Lollipop installed, it could be called “Google Keyboard” instead.
  3. Tap “Appearance & layouts” and then “Customized input styles”
  4. Tap the plus button, and then select your language
  5. Under “layout,” select “PC”
  6. Tap “Enable,” then ensure that your new layout is checked as an “Active Input Method”
Screenshots: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Screenshots: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Now your new layout is set up, all you need to do is tap the globe key the next time you use your keyboard to switch to it.

Because this adds additional keys to your board as well as the number row, it works best on larger devices. If you have a small screen, your keyboard could become too cramped — but you won’t know for sure until you give it a try.